Prince George’s County is Overhauling Photo Lineups to Protect the Innocent from Prison

Posted on: February 18th, 2014  |  No Comments

Last fall Baltimore adopted new photo lineup policies that have since become the norm in Dallas, North Carolina, Philadelphia and other jurisdictions. Now the Prince George’s County Police Department is also overhauling how detectives conduct photo lineups in an effort to prevent innocent people from going to prison.

Starting this spring, detectives must show witnesses photos of potential suspects one at a time on separate pieces of paper rather than all at once on a single page. Lineups must also be “blind,” which means a detective unfamiliar with the case must present photos to witnesses instead of an officer investigating the crime.

The method is called the “double-blind sequential lineup.” The goal is to reduce chances that witnesses would falsely identify suspects or that detectives would unwittingly nudge witnesses to choose a particular photo.

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A version of this article appeared in print on Monday, February 10, 2014, on page B of The Washington Post with the headline: Move aims to prevent jailing of innocent. Pr.George’s police alter method for conducting photo lineups of suspects. By Lynh Bui

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